A random assortment of recent and not so recent La Roja-related things – consider this post a warm-up for the international week!
Pepe Reina stars in a short film, “Invictus – El Correo del César,” which premiered at the Teatro Compac Gran Vía in Madrid on Monday. The film is part of insurance company Plus Ultra’s (formerly Groupama) promotional campaign, as Pepe is their spokesperson (he took over from Iker Casillas – remember the famous “me siento seguroooo…”?).
Pepe stars as one of the Roman empire’s messengers. He is tasked with bringing a message to Rome but of course runs into some trouble along the way.
The director of the short film, Javier Fesser, said of Pepe, “he acts better than some of those who have actor’s cards.”
I thought it would be nice ahead of tonight’s clásico (and all the craziness that can arise from these games) to take a look back at how Real Madrid and Barcelona players (and other teams’ players) worked together to achieve the greatest triumph in Spanish football history. So, here is the chapter from Más secretos about the 2010 World Cup final.
By the way, are Luca Villa and Luca Reina destined to be best friends, or are they destined to be best friends?
And we continue with the chapter “Champions of the World” in Más secretos de la Roja! In this excerpt, we find out what went on before and after the games against Switzerland, Honduras and Chile.
Switzerland (June 16, Moses Mabhida, Durban).
Spain and Switzerland were the last teams to play out of the 32. Spain used the same formula for the game. It had the ball and frequently got close to the rival goal. Arbeloa said, “I remember that 15 minutes into the game, I told Albiol that if we continued like this, no one could beat us. We were playing so well…” But the minutes passed and the goal didn’t come. In the 51st minute, Switzerland scored a goal. Casillas said, “the game could be summed up in that play. It was a real misfortune.” To make matters worse, Piqué suffered a cut above his eye and needed two stitches. Iniesta lost feeling in the back of his right thigh after receiving a blow and had to be taken out: “I was quite scared. I thought I had suffered something more serious than what I really had.”
Continuing with the celebration in Madrid…
The goddess was wearing her best Spain finery for this occasion. I wonder if Xabi was already too drunk at this point to remember how drunk he had been the last time he was here, and how amusing that was for all of us?
Here is how the rest of the day of celebration in Madrid went: the plane ride from Kiev to Madrid, meeting with the king (no one told the elephant joke) and the slow descent into mass drunkenness, starting on the open air bus.
I’m skipping a bit ahead, since I haven’t posted about the parade in Madrid or the party at Cibeles yet, but The Pepe Show is always the highlight of the celebration, no? Spain has to keep winning, so we can get to experience the sheer genius of Pepe Reina every couple of years.
I love what the players were doing here to usher Pepe to the center of the stage!
Even though this was our third trophy in four years, I’ll never get tired of the sight of Iker Casillas lifting a beautiful cup up.
July 1, 2012.
Another historical date for La Roja. Spain made history by becoming the first national team to win two consecutive Eurocopas, with a World Cup sandwiched in between, when it beat Italy 4-0 (in the highest scoring final in history) to close out the 2012 edition of the Eurocopa.